Author Topic: Angolan money  (Read 1464 times)

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Offline lusomosa

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Angolan money
« on: June 29, 2007, 11:52:28 AM »

About the coinage to the Portuguese colony of Angola there are a few remarks to it :

Many of the coinage atribuited to Angola on early catalogues never if fact reached Angola and was used on other parts of the empire. The most recent catalogue of Alberto Gomes explaines this rather well ( in Portuguese ) . In the catalogue this coins are still found onther Angola in orther to cause no confusion to those emissions traditionally atribuited to this colony but there are remarks added explaining were in fact those emissions were send to. Many ended up in Brazil...
This reflects the caotic period in Brazil after the gold mines were found and the need for currency there and later the "Exodus" from Portugal of the Portuguese court folowing the Napoleonic invasion.

An other point of interest about the first emmisions to Angola was the Uprising of the military Division in Luanda ( November 1694 ) :
Internally all comerce was based on exchange of goods : salt, cloths, pieces of tapestry etc..
For the international "comerce" ( most of it were slaves ) Portuguese but specially forein coinage was used.
The Military received :
corn, military uniforms and 700 reis in local value-goods

These goods were called LIBONGO.
These were indigenous cloths 60x60 cm long, each valued at 50 reis.
As time went by this LIBONGOS devaluated to a wery small cloth worth 5 reis ( but the military still received 700 reis worth of LIBONGOS )
When at Ministerial level the decision was taken that in Angola the troops would receive 200 reis in coins , thinking that 200 reis in coins would be equivalent to the value of LIBONGOS. the authorities did not think ( living in Portugal ) that the whole society in Africa were not used to coins.
What happened was that the military by receiving in coins saw thier salary drop from 700 to 200 reis.  They had coins but they could not buy anything.... The LIBONGO was in fact a stronger CURRENCY.
They revolted but as so often happens their leaders were put to death and they went on for centuries earning "less" then they had untill then. Olny because coins were intruduced.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 03:54:06 PM by Afrasi »